Weathermen’s predictions are blamed for poor Easter trade

HOTEL occupancy levels in Malaga province fell by seven per cent this Easter and the sector is blaming the weathermen.

Compared to last year hotel occupancy levels from Maundy Thursday to Holy Saturday, the busiest days, fell by 7.37 per cent to 76.4 per cent.

The local tourism sector blames this in part on the national press weather reports which predicted rain on the Costa del Sol. The constant talk of rain led to many last-minute cancellations.

“In the end it hardly rained, but tourists stayed away because they were scared by the weather reports” the President of the Malaga Beach Business Association, Manuel Villafaina, said.

The manager of the AC Malaga Palacio Hotel in Malaga, Jorge Gonzalez, agrees, “people still have last year in mind, when rains prevented them from seeing many processions, and haven’t wanted to spend money on travelling.”

The weather and the financial crisis have joined forces this year and put people off travelling, and hotels in the city such as the Malaga Palacio report no more than 90 per cent occupancy levels at the peak of the Easter week.

Hotels along the coast report poor results, but say it was what they had feared. Some report having clients walking in to ask about their prices and leaving because they couldn’t afford it, knowing they would find vacancies elsewhere.

Three-star hotels report better results, with up to 90 per cent occupancy levels, while four-stars report no more than 75 per cent.

Nevertheless, they are “relatively happy” with the average 73 per cent occupancy in the city and 70 per cent along the coast, the President of the Andalucian Hoteliers Federation, Jose Manuel Ledesma, reports.

Meanwhile, the mayor of Malaga, Francisco de la Torre, reported that there had been a high presence of foreign tourists, including 30,000 cruise ship passengers.

Photo credit: Jessica B.

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